As we bring the Border Princes campaign to a close, I have one final game against Furycat. Overall, it feels like honour is even between our forces, but now the new Empire army book is hamstringing him significantly, so it’s time for me to change things up and make it more of a game. Furycat is a big fan of the video battle reports from Oncebitten360, and although I don’t care for the format of video battle reports in general, I checked them out on recommendation. So, in homage to Oncebitten360, I decided to forego my usual Great Bray Shaman in favour a Doombull with all the trimmings and frankly ludicrous block of Minotaurs. I’ve never really felt like I can get Minotaurs to work well in the past so I’m keen to test it out.
Doombull, Axes of Khorgor, Ramhorn Helm, Dawnstone, Gnarled Hide, Heavy Armour (D)
Gorebull, BSB, Beserker Sword, Talisman of Endurance, Heavy Armour (BSB)
Bray Shaman, level 2, Dispel Scroll, extra hand weapon, Lore of Shadow (BS1)
Bray Shaman, level 2, extra hand weapon, Lore of Beasts (BS2)
40 Gors, extra hand weapon, full command (G)
40 Ungors, full command (U)
Tuskgor Chariot (TC)
6, 5 and 5 Ungor Raiders, musician (UR1 to UR3)
5 Harpies, scouts (H)
9 Minotaurs, full command, Ironcurse Icon (M)
Furycat has been struggling to get a list that suits his style, but I gather that the plan here is that the Lore of Heavens will provide a massive bonus to Knights, especially if the boosted version of Harmonic Convergence is cast.
Wizard Lord, level 4, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Heavens (WL)
Captain of the Empire, general, Helm of the Skavenslayer, Dawnstone, full plate armour, shield (C)
Captain of the Empire, BSB, Shrieking Blade, barded warhorse, full plate armour, shield (BSB)
Warrior Priest, Enchanted Shield, barded warhorse, heavy armour (WP)
Master Engineer, frilly shirt (M)
9 Knights of the Inner Circle, lances, shields, full command (IC)
5 Knightly Orders, great weapons, standard bearer, musician (KO)
45 Spearmen, full command (S)
5 Archers [Detachment to Spearmen] (A)
24 Greatswords, full command, Standard of Discipline (G)
Celestial Hurricanum (CH)
3 Demigryph Knights, standard bearer (DK)
Helblaster Volley Gun (HVG)
We randomly get Blood and Glory as the scenario, and a variety of surprisingly mundane terrain to fight over. In the North is a Wyrding Well and in the far East is a Sorcerous Portal that we instantly forget about as usual. The Wizard Lord gets Iceshard Blizzard, Curse of the Midnight Wind, Comet of Cassandora and Chain Lightning; sadly forgetting that the whole point of coming along was to bring Harmonic Convergence. The Shadow Bray Shaman takes Melkoth’s Mystifying Misama and Enfeebling Foe; the other one has Wyssan’s Wildform and Curse of Anraheir. The Beastmen happily take first turn, with one herd of Raiders ambushing.
As usual, there’s nothing too subtle in first turn movement for my Beastmen: everyone marches forward. The Raiders in the West move to tempt either the Inner Circle Knights or the Demigryph Knights into charging through the forest. I roll up 3,1 magic dice, but fail to cast Miasma on the Inner Circle Knights and the follow-up (Wildform on the Gors) is easily dispelled.
As I hoped, the Demigryph Knights charge into the baiting Raiders (the forest turns out to be a Wildwood, but it doesn’t attempt to beat them up). However, the Greatswords and the Inner Circle Knights both fail their charges, on the Ungors and the Tuskgor Chariot respectively. The Wizard Lord leaves his Archer companions to their fate, which apparently is to be a speed bump in front of the Gors. The Spearmen also move up to face the inevitable charge from the Minotaurs, but crucially they can’t fully align so their flank is hanging slightly to the West. The winds of magic give us 5,1 dice to play with and I let Chain Lightning through on the Tuskgor Chariot. In retrospect, that was probably a poor idea as it jumps across half of my army, reducing the Chariot to a single wound, killing the Beasts Bray Shaman and taking off wounds from the Gors, Minotaurs and Ungors. Ouch. At least I dispel Iceshard Blizzard. The Helblaster and the Archers plink a handful of Gors, but it’s not enough to matter. Finally, the Demigryph Knights make short work of the Raiders and reform to face the line of battle.
It’s turn two and there are targets in charge range, so I happily send the Gors into the Archers, the Minotaurs into the Spearmen and the Ungors into the Greatswords. I’m not expecting much from the Ungors, but against the Greatswords they’ll be steadfast for long enough to get something else in to help out. The Harpies charge the Wizard Lord (who flees), fail to redirect into the Engineer and then roll 1,1,1 for charge distance anyway. Idiots. I consider charging with the Tuskgor Chariot, but with only one wound left it’ll do me more good keeping those pesky Inner Circle Knights out of my hair for a bit longer. The same goes for my remaining Raider herd (once the Bray Shaman has run off, of course), moving into the path of the Knightly Orders. I generate 6,2 magic dice and am greatly helped by the fact that the Wizard Lord is running for his life. Miasma (-3WS) and Enfeebling Foe (-1S) both go on the Greatswords after two failed dispel attempts. In the combat phase, the Gors blend the Archers into a fine red mist, and their overrun allows them to charge the flank of the Spearmen. To no-one’s surprise, there aren’t many Spearmen left after the attentions of a horde of Gors a Doombull, a Gorebull and bunch of other Minotaurs. Furycat decides that there’s no way back and throws in the towel. Victory for the Beastmen!
Well, that was one sided. Furycat discussed this for a while after the game and, while I think he might have been able to kill off a few things, he probably wasn’t going to pull a win out. I did consider not even writing this battle report up as it was so short, but in the end I decided that I should do it in the interests of completness. There’s probably not much to learn for any Beastmen readers out there (except that so many Minotaurs is probably overkill), but if anyone can make suggestions on how the Empire could have been played then I would be delighted to read about them.